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Home / Tips and Tricks / The Best Sub $ 400 Mobile Phones to Watch Movies and TV Shows «Smartphones :: Gadget Hacks

The Best Sub $ 400 Mobile Phones to Watch Movies and TV Shows «Smartphones :: Gadget Hacks



With better processors and improved LTE coverage, it's easy to see your favorite shows almost everywhere. However, not all of us expensive flagship phones can afford the latest top tier specifications. However, with a maximum budget of $ 400, you can find solid phones that deliver a great viewing experience.

Every year we find new examples of cheap phones that are getting better and better. When you focus on factors that address a specific need (for example, watching videos), you can easily find phones that have enough energy to reach your destination. For watching videos, this means a big screen, a sound processor and great battery life. There are a number of phones that meet these criteria, and after the review, here are the top four.

Table of Contents

Comparison Chart

Jon Knight / Gadget Hacks image

Important Comparison Points

How to dial these phones

We only chose phones that passed the Google Compatibility Test Suite – without this certification, you would lose access to apps on the Google Play Store, including Netflix. Many phones from several Chinese manufacturers have been eliminated due to this requirement.

We considered screen size as one of the most important components when it comes to video playback. Therefore, we have only looked at phones with a display of at least 5.5 inches.

Finally, we have made sure that every phone is currently available at or below the $ 400 price point. Only one phone on our list comes close, with every other option much cheaper. For many, $ 400 is the right starting point for a budget phone.

Phone 1: Xperia XA2 Ultra

If you value aesthetics, you might want to check out the Sony Xperia XA2 Ultra. Its boxy design prompted one of our authors to catalog it into one of the ugliest cell phones he'd seen in 2018 – but hey, beauty is just superficial. If you focus on specifications and internals, the XA2 Ultra is an excellent budget phone that can compete with any device in this price range. And when it comes to watching movies and TV shows on Netflix, Hulu, and Prime Video, you will not find a better option at this price.

By far the biggest selling point of the XA2 Ultra is its 6.0-inch display. It also offers a 1080p resolution so you can enjoy high quality video on the go, and it houses this large display in the second-highest screen -body-ratio

Android Authority / YouTube image

Sony has equipped the Xperia XA2 Ultra with one of the better displays at this price XA2 Ultra has the brightest screen and the second best Color temperature on this list, its lowest brightness level is the second lowest, which helps with nighttime viewing or saving battery.

Speaking of battery, the XA2 Ultra contains the largest battery in this list with 3,580 mAh With the powerful but efficient SoC and IPS LCD panel, the XA2 Ultra has a full-time battery. In real life tests, it blows all the other phones out of the water with a battery that lasts three hours longer than the second-place phone.

Qualcomm's Snapdragon 630 processor is a relatively new SoC (first announced in May 2017) The device offers midrange performance without compromising battery life. While graphically immersive games like PUBG Mobile reach their limits, it can watch more than just video, whether it's local files or online streaming.

But when it comes to video streaming, the integrated modem is the real star. The X12 modem provides up to Cat-12 download speeds (600 Mbps) and Cat-13 upload speeds (150 Mbps). While you will never reach a download speed of 600 Mbps in the real world, a modem that allows higher theoretical speeds will allow faster speeds for slower connections.

2: Nokia 6.1

The Nokia 6.1 is simply an excellent budget phone with excellent build quality, crisp screen, and a great overall feel in the hand, it is included in the Android One program, so updates are fast and frequent (only a few) Days after the first release Google), which is incredibly rare in terms of value for money. While it's easy to ignore because of its smaller screen, you will not find a better overall phone at this price, which is great for watching videos.

For the Nokia 6.1 everything starts with the Android One program. This will handle the software updates from 6.1 by Google and not from HMD (the Nokia developers), which is why it is the only phone on our list with the latest Android version. OEMs usually give up software support for budget devices shortly after release, as profit margins do not justify keeping a team of software developers in the field. However, the Nokia 6.1 will always be up-to-date with access to all the new enhancements that Android brings to the operating system.

As a result of Android 8.1 Oreo, the Nokia 6.1 is the only phone on our list that supports picture-in-picture mode for Netflix. Netflix requires Android 8.1 to access this feature, even though 8.0 has introduced native support.

Image of Jon Knight / Gadget Hacks

The Nokia 6.1 uses the same SoC as the Sony Xperia XA2 Ultra, and although it is for the Tied to the smallest battery size, it has the second highest battery life. The smaller battery also supports its slim design, which is only 0.32 inches tall.

The Nokia 6.1 with 81 dB also has the loudest speaker of all phones on our list. Audio is slightly distorted at maximum volume, but sounds good in normal listening areas. There is also a 3.5mm headphone jack for video on the move.

As I mentioned before, I think the Nokia 6.1 is the best phone on our list, which is also really good for watching videos. Although it offers the smallest screen on our list, it manages amazing battery life and runs the latest version of Android. Even if streaming is not your thing, it contains 64 GB of memory, which is expandable via microSD.

Jon Knight / Gadget Hacks

Phone 3: Honor 7X

You would not expect $ 199.99 that a smartphone surpasses anything, especially when it comes to videos. The Honor 7X is different. It's just the best $ 200 you can spend on a smartphone, and it's a great smartphone for binge watching TV shows. Apart from the modem, there really is not much that one can complain about with this phone when it comes to video playback.

First we talk about the modem – it's the Achilles heel of this device. The integrated modem of the Kirin 659 SoC offers half the maximum download speed of the X12 modem, which can be found in the Snapdragon 630. The Honor 7X will always have lower LTE download speeds than the other phones on our list, if it's on the same network it could result in movies and movies being buffered at a lower resolution.

However, this is the only major complaint to the Honor 7X. At 5.93 ", it has the second largest display, and unlike the Sony Xperia XA2, it uses a 18: 9 aspect ratio, with this aspect ratio, say, black bars in older movies, such as The Godfather and Back to the Future For newer films using an aspect ratio of 2.39: 1, the horizontal black bars are smaller than on a 16: 9 screen. [19659059] The best sub-400 phones for watching movies and TV series ” width=”532″ height=”532″ style=”max-width:532px;height:auto;”/>

Android Police / YouTube

The Glory 7X has the highest screen-to-body ratio at 77% 2 XL has 76.4% .The Honor 7X Unfortunately, the screen has the second lowest maximum brightness level, so viewing in direct sunlight will be a problem.

While the battery is the second With a capacity of 3,340 mAh, the battery life does not match the size of the battery Batteries The Honor 7x has the lowest battery life on our list, resulting in lower battery life than other phones on our list of smaller batteries.

Android Police / YouTube image

The Glory 7X has a lot to offer. Even if Honor decided to raise its price by $ 50, it would still compete well with the other phones on our list. However, the poor battery life and the slower modem impacted the recommendation over the other two options, forcing us to rank it third on our list.

Phone 4: Moto G6

The Moto G6 is one of the strangest entries on our list. The decisions of Lenovo, owners of the Motorola smartphone brand, leave some questions unanswered. At each step, the Moto G6 seems to take a step back and must be the last one on our list.

Let's start with the processor. Lenovo chose an entry-level chipset, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 450. It's the slowest SoC on our list, both in terms of performance and energy efficiency. While it can handle streaming video (because the modem is strong enough to handle 1080p video), the CPU can interfere with video playback. Especially with locally stored videos, the performance of video playback may be affected.

The Moto G6 uses a 5.7 "IPS LCD screen, similar to others on our list, it has a resolution of 1080p, in addition it uses the same 18: 9 aspect ratio found on the Honor 7X, which generally narrows the aperture on the smartphone, but with the use of a forward-looking fingerprint scanner, the Moto G6 has the second lowest screen-to-body ratio 19659070] The Best Sub-400 Mobile Phones to Watch Movies and TV Shows [19659006] Picture of Jon Knight / Gadget Hacks

Another interesting choice is the battery size. We expect Lenovo to minimize the thickness and benefit from it. The lower power consumption of the Qualcomm 400 series chipset: while they are the latter, they failed on the latter with the second weakest battery life on our list.

As for audio, the Moto G6 has the only front speakers a on our list. They achieved this with the EA rpiece as a speaker. In addition, the sound is optimized with Dolby Audio. Just a tip: Do not turn off Dolby Audio. When disabled, the sound is greatly reduced and produces a barely audible sound from a few meters away.

The Moto G6 would be easier to recommend if its price tag were a bit less. At $ 249.99, it's $ 50 more than the Honor 7X, which is a better budget phone for video consumption. And for $ 20 more dollars, you can get the Nokia 6.1, which offers a better experience, whether you are watching videos or doing anything else. But if front-speaker speakers are a must, then this is your only option and a solid choice that is better than many others who have not made our list. Conclusion

When you think of budget phones, you often think about compromises. Because of your tight budget, you simply get the "least sucky" phone. However, as you can see with our list, you can get a true value below $ 400. You do not have to spend $ 600 more to enjoy your favorite movies and TV shows. With each of our options, you can enjoy your favorite movie or bang your favorite shows wherever you go.

If $ 400 is your maximum, there is no better choice than the Sony Xperia XA2 Ultra. It has the largest screen on our list, a mid-range SoC with a fast modem, high screen-to-body ratio and fantastic battery life. No other phones at this price offer you a better experience. If you want to keep it under $ 300, the Nokia 6.1 is your best bet, as it is simply a cut above the rest of the phones in its price range.

Cover Picture by Jon Knight / Gadget Hacks

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